Rhinos gained momentum - McDermott

PA Sport
Brian McDermott says Leeds have been building momentum ahead of their Challenge Cup semi-final next weekend
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Brian McDermott says Leeds have been building momentum ahead of their Challenge Cup semi-final next  …

Leeds coach Brian McDermott admits his side have enjoyed the perfect preparation for next week's Challenge Cup semi-final.

The Rhinos made it four wins in a row to climb to fifth place in Stobart Super League with a 21-6 victory over Hull at a rain-drenched Headingley and will take on holders Wigan next Saturday in good heart.

"We're building some momentum now," said McDermott. "In the last four games we've got better in each game. It's a big game next week against a very good team and we'll have to be very good. It's exciting but we can't get wrapped up in it."

He continued: "We're getting there, if that second half is anything to go by. I thought we played incredibly well in the first half, when we handled the conditions really well. Tonight wasn't perfect but we came up with the important plays when it mattered."

Leeds scored tries through Carl Ablett, Ryan Hall and Brett Delaney, while impressive skipper Kevin Sinfield kicked four goals and a drop goal.

Hull battled to the end despite an injury crisis that forced coach Peter Gentle to give a debut to Ryan McGoldrick, signed earlier in the day from Castleford, and to ask assistant coach Lee Radford to once more come out of retirement.

"That's the game we're in," said Gentle. "It challenges your depth and at the moment we're a bit light. Injuries dictate that you call on all your resources. We had a team out there tonight that could have won the game.

"We played with plenty of heart but not very smart. I thought our defence was terrific and we can take encouragement from that. If you get the defence right, you've got a base to work from. We defended well but our execution and kicking game let us down.

"You've got to give Leeds credit. They kicked us off the park and handled the conditions a lot better than us."

Gentle was pleased with the debut of McGoldrick, who was only registered at 2pm on Friday and chosen at full-back ahead of youngster Matty Russell. "I didn't think it was a night for Matty, it was more for a seasoned player," he said. "He hasn't let us down and he will get better in the coming weeks. He will be a handy acquisition at the back end of the year."

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